ConnectingUp Podcasts

The PodCast feed for the Connecting Up 2006 Conference – Hyatt Regency Adelaide, South Australia, May 1-2 2006 – is up and running.

To subscribe to conference podcasts, tune your ‘PodCatcher’ software to:

You can expect to hear a couple of pre-conference interviews with CISA CEO Doug Jacquier, at least two sessions from the conference (maybe more if there is enough demand), and some post-conference discussion. Monday morning’s session ‘Connecting and Speaking to Communities using WeBLOGS and PodCasts‘ by David Wallace and Mike Seyfang and Tuesday’s plenary session ‘Towards a national strategy for developing the ICT capacity for the nfp sector‘ will be podcast.

Full list of sessions, speakers and other information available from the conference website.

On context and openness

“blogging is the opensourcing of ideas” – confused of calcutta.

Context is something that bugs me from time to time, and features in Lifekludger. Openness is a more recent ‘fog’ to me.

A couple more recent posts from around the place that have got me back thinking about context again, and openness still.

In a post “Blink, War and Platonic Goals“, themaninthedoorway says “knowledge, context and experience are the environment essential to unconscious decision making.”

Confused of Calcutta writes in an excellent post titled “Four Pillars: Thinking more about blogging and enterprise architecture“, “blogging is the opensourcing of ideas”

And the very ‘Lifekludger-ish’ “Because problems are not constant. So we have to solve for problem-solving, not solve specific problems.”

On context he adds “Command is leadership and can happen even in emergent environments, does happen even in emergent environments. Command is not permanent but contextual. Control, on the other hand, is hierarchical, permanent-and-therefore-temporary, rarely domain or context sensitive.”

Well, it all meant something to me….in the ‘fog’ somewhere.

Who’s driving who?

Further thoughts around my previous post on Openness is more than an API.

Via Beth Kanter I found myself at at a post titled “Ramifications of Web 2.0 for Nonprofits with Participatory Applications” covering part of the NTEN 2006 Conference. This bit grabbed my attention :

The first intriguing question that came up: Do people’s social needs drive the emergence of new technology, or does the emergence of these new technologies drive what people want to do?

While this might be looking at a higher level than what I’m pointing to in my ‘openness‘ post, and there’s likely to be a cyclical nature to these issues, there’s certainly some overlap.

Often after something is developed a serendipitous use can be discovered in a unrelated arena – unforseen ‘custom’ uses of general purpose ‘stuff’. Whether it’s “emerging new technology” or whatever you’d call the already emerged kind, sometimes the society needs to ‘open’ its eyes to ‘other’ possibilities. The term tunnel-vision springs to mind.

Sometimes, like I’m trying to demonstrate with Lifekludger, there’s a ‘social need’ already existing for technology already existing.

As they say on Distributing the Future podcast, “The future’s already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet”.

Spam spam go away

In last couple weeks this blogs been hit hard by comment spam. None of it got through my filters and blacklists etc but I’ve been getting about 100 a week.

These are mostly trying to piggy-back onto posts that already have valid comments. New comments on posts that have no existing comments get trapped by sxip/sxore now that’s installed.

I got sick of it so installed the Akismet plugin today.

So you spammers BUGGER OFF!

Openness is more than an API

Doc’s gone and done it again – got me thinking and linking stuff whirring around in my brain.

This time it’s over an email he sent to Nathan Torkington of O’reilly, documented in a post titled “Business as Morality”.

Doc Searls: Business as Morality

In it, Doc outlines three moralities, however it’s the last one that caught my attention.

Morality of generosity. We give. We are open. We love without expectation of reward, or even accounting. (In fact, when you bring in accounting, you compromise it.) Think about how we give to our spouses, our children, without strings. It pays off, too.

(emphasis mine)
This morality of generosity is characterised by giving. We see it in technology in the ‘sharing’ of open APIs in the web environment today. But Doc is right when he points to the family relationship as a model of this morality. There is no other place that requires such intense, ongoing, openness. Here we see the meaning having its impetus from something much deeper than technology. As Linda Stone’s address at last years Supernova conference hinted, the shape of technology is more fashioned by and for culture than it is an incidental happening of experimentation.

Linda Stone: Supernova 2005: Attention

In short, we create and form what we crave. The tools we use are what’s at hand and what we can make with what’s at hand. But the driver is people, not the technology in and of itself.

So, what do we crave now? Linda outlines some of it in her address:

So now we’re overwhelmed, under fulfilled, seeking meaningful connections.

Now we long for a quality of life that comes in meaningful connections to friends, colleagues, family that we experience with full-focus attention on relationships, etc.

The next aphrodisiac is committed full-attention focus. In this new area, experiencing this engaged attention is to feel alive.

I happen to believe that full-attention focus has always been an aphrodisiac. Just look at kids and what they do for attention. It might just be that at this point in time we’re beginning to realise it. And the technologies of the Net are forming to make it possible.

Too much openness at once?

I wonder are virtual worlds becoming more popular because the internet world is becoming more like the real world – or at least how we sense the real world should be – and for many people it leaves them feeling too vulnerable and seeking for a place to be anonymous again. Forming virtual, virtual realities, where relationships can be ‘managed’ and ‘safer’.

Doc maps his three moralities to a market model with relationships as the foundation.

But relationship is what actually makes markets. I’m talking about real markets here: places where we do business and make culture.

You have to be generous in relationships.
I learned this from a Nigerian theologian named Sayo Ajiboye, by the way. Way back here.

Way back there, Doc quotes Sayo speaking about markets, life and meaning.

“Aiye Loja…” meaning “All of life is a market…”

Speaking about life as a market makes relationship the currency and a person’s life the bank. Bank isn’t such a good metaphor in this instance though as Banks aren’t exactly known for their giving, let alone giving generously. Maybe source is a better term, or essence.

Relationship is the essence of existence.

I’ve held that to be true for many years. Relationship is what our lives are about. If relationships work, life works. That’s why markets are miracles. They’re made up of the very substance that makes life work.

Ever since becoming aware of this phenomenon known as blogging and its related out workings in people’s lives, I’ve had a quote at the forefront of my thinking. Amazingly, it stems from a song written back at the time Doc was crossing paths with Sayo Ajiboye, 2001, but wasn’t credited as quoted until a couple years later.

“What I see happening in the face of all this darkness is something new in human spirituality, openness, some sense of our common destiny. We’ve got to keep nudging ourselves in the direction of good and respect for each other.” (Bruce Cockburn – Open)

As I touched on in my previous posts titled You can’t stop the signal and Audio of Linda Stone’s Supernova Address

Question left to discover is what will be the “adaptive behaviour” that will emerge to fulfil our desire of “being connected”? Will it be, as I touched on in my previous post, this concept of “openness”?

Is openness more than the outworking of a technological concept we are seeing in the form of web apps that “share”?

Is openness a cultures’ adaptive behaviour to enable what in essence we crave? relationship?

[tags]Nathan+Torkington, doc+searls, markets, signal, linda+stone, openness, Generous+Web[/tags]

Goodbye Horizontal HQ

Had a day off Tuesday. Went to the specialist to have an xray of the broken arm. Last time I have to see him. Apparently the bonmes started to knit and staying in the place it was when all this strarted.

Thing is it appears it isn’t, or never has been, lined up where it should be. The bone is therefore left on a different angle, so remains to be seen if, after physio, I get the range back in it I had before.

Has reminiscences of my ankle, which years ago I broke without knowing and then by time doctor found out it had set and so now remains crooked.

Anway, all this means for stint in Horizontal headquarters is now over. I’m still keeping focused on a more permanent setup for my horizontal computing needs but it’s a slow process. Latest thinking is either a monitor suspended from ceiling or a projector setup. I’ll report more over on Lifekludger as it happens.

So, for now, here ends the Horizontal HQ saga.

Classic colour

Where’s all the colour gone Apple?

Came across this interesting article in the Metroplolis Magazine (a design mag) focused on the use of colour in Apples computers.

I had one of the first Macs they talk about so it was a nostalgia trip for me (and a nice one now I’m trapped in WindowsLand due to work).

It finished on an interesting note:

People are no longer satisfied with good looks and ease of use. They expect all that, and an emotional connection too.

Apple’s done well to foster this ’emotional connection’ via music with the iPod. I’m wondering perhaps we might see a colourful return? After all, what evokes emotional connection besides music….oh yeah, colour!

Link – Metropolis Mag